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3 new historical markers to line region's roads

Three new historical markers will be placed on Central Virginia roadsides after being approved earlier this month by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.

The board approved 14 new markers, including markers in Albemarle, Buckingham and Madison counties.

The Albemarle County marker will be placed at 3220 Keswick Road and will honor the Union Run Baptist Church, which took shape soon after the Civil War. Rev. Robert Hughes and other freedmen organized the congregation, which purchased a nearby church building and re-erected it on land deeded to them in 1867 by Thomas Jefferson Randolph.

The church served as a school and a community center and the property as a burial ground. The Albemarle County Office of Equity and Inclusion sponsored the marker.

In Buckingham County, a marker will honor Chief Cornerstone Baptist Church, established in 1876. The church was built on land it purchased from a formerly enslaved married couple and its membership worshipped beneath a brush arbor before building a log sanctuary.

The property also provided a burial ground for the community.

The marker will be placed at 4002 Bell Road, in Dillwyn. The Chief Cornerstone Baptist Church congregation sponsored the marker.

Rapidan Baptist Church in Madison County will also receive a historic marker. The church traces its history to January 1773 when the congregation faced prosecution for refusing to comply with the laws that established the Church of England as the official church and religion.

In 1789, James Madison won the support of many local Baptists during his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives by assuring the Rapidan church’s pastor that he would support a constitutional amendment guaranteeing religious freedom.

The marker will be placed at 150 Rapidan Church Lane. The church congregation sponsored the marker.

It could take as long as three months to erect the markers. The marker sponsors cover the $1,770 needed to make a new sign.

Virginia’s historical highway marker program began in 1927 with installation of the first markers along U.S. 1. It is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,600 state markers, mostly maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, except in those localities outside of VDOT’s authority.


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